Today it was announced by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office that the treasurer of Toms River Elks Lodge (#1875) pled guilty on Friday January 25, 2019, to stealing over $119,000 from the Elks.
Christine Wilbert, 46, of Lakehurst NJ pled guilty to a charge of second-degree theft in the Ocean County Superior Court before Honorable Rochelle Gizinski J.S.C. Under the plea agreement, the State will recommend a sentence of five years in New Jersey State Prison, and a requirement to pay $119,000 in restitution. Wilbert’s sentencing is scheduled for May 3rd, 2019.
“Wilbert was entrusted with managing the lodge’s various bank accounts, including its general charity account that was used to provide donations to both charitable and civic organizations, as well as citizens in need.” — Bradley D. Billhimer, Ocean County Prosecutor
Wilbert was responsible for issuing checks from an account used for donations, and for cash deposits from various fundraising events. The investigation showed that between April 2013 and June 2016, Wilbert managed to issue herself approximately 50 checks while recording them in the Elk’s accounting software as legitimate charitable payments. Additionally, Wilbert was able to skim monies from the cash she was responsible for managing and deposing and all acts together total $119,010 during that time period.
The guilty pleas was the result of an investigation led by Detective John Bajcic of the Toms River Police Department and the case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit.